Gareth Bale being benched by Real Madrid has left Wales team-mate Joe Allen baffled.
Bale hit a fine hat-trick in Wales' 6-0 rout of China on Thursday, taking him past Liverpool great Ian Rush as his country's all-time leading scorer.
Ryan Giggs' side will face Uruguay in the final of the China Cup invitational tournament on Monday before Bale heads back to the Santiago Bernabeu to fight for his first-team place.
Impressive contributions from the likes of Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez mean the 28-year-old is no longer a guaranteed starter for Zinedine Zidane's men and had to be satisfied with a pair of cameo appearances in the Champions League last-16 triumph over Paris Saint-Germain.
"It is baffling really. He'll be disappointed," Stoke City midfielder Allen told reporters.
"But I'm sure it is only a matter of time before he'll be back starting and playing regularly - doing for them what he always does for us.
"It was an incredible hat-trick and he is going to have plenty of time to extend that record now.
"He's really chuffed he's got it, and there is some sense it's out of the way. He's going to get a lot more goals.
"It will take something pretty special to ever beat his record."
Unbelievable reception here in China and to see so many Welsh Fans make the trip. Very proud to break Ian’s record tonight with the hat-trick #29 March 22, 2018
Allen, who will return from international duty to face a Premier League relegation scrap with Stoke, added: "If you look at Gaz's age, 28, he's at the peak of his powers. We hope he keeps doing the business. He is an ambitious guy.
"You could see against China he was a cut above anyone else out on that pitch — we are really grateful he is a Welshman."
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